Month: July 2014

Otiose

There are so many things that we can busy ourselves with today, between work, family, ministry, hobbies, friends, projects, weight loss, school, memberships, business, even keeping up with the flowers on the porch. We do what we can to be comfortable and to be successful, to feel accomplished, and to feel that we have made something of ourselves; we want to feel needed and important.

In the Western culture, it is all about independence and making sure “I got mine” and self is taken care of. So we put every bit of effort as we can to make it from day to day, some more ambitiously as others, striving to meet the world’s expectation of worth. We get educated and chase money, pursue dreams or pursue that which we think will make us happy. With all this running around, it gets tiring and it is so easy to lose focus and sight of what is really important. Our priorities get messed up and we tend to leave others behind.

Our efforts are temporal at best, surface level satisfaction, and after a while it becomes mundane and we just go through the motions of life even though we aren’t truly living. When you look at it, it’s as if we operate and function as if there are mirrors everywhere we go, and at some point we look in one and see ourselves smiling; we are the center of our universe and frankly put, that’s vanity. This “all about me” society has crippled us, and at some point we have to ask, what I’m doing, will it last? Am I leaving the world in better condition than when I first arrived? What does it all count for?

Living a life of purpose means that you understand first and foremost, that it is not about you. Your being is not for the purpose of making yourself happy, but pouring out and impacting others lives. Those are the things we take with us when we cross over. Furthermore, we can get so caught up and wonder why we are tired and all but satisfied, because we fail to confer with the Author of our life. Though there are many things that are good, not everything will push towards the specific destiny that God has for each of His children.

When we work in our human effort and move without the hand of the living and active God, it is all worthless and means nothing. He is the only one that gives us value, not money, possessions, accomplishments, degrees, good deeds, etc. It’s only the work for Him that will last. We can try all we want, but apart from Christ, it all means nothing, no matter how “noble” or “positive” or “good” what we do is. Just because it’s not bad, doesn’t mean it’s what God has for you to do. As I have read before, we tend to be unsatisfied and tired most when we do what the Lord is not telling us to do, not necessarily living a sinful life, but simply not walking in His will.

Being you for a purpose means that you understand that if God is not behind you, there is no point in going forward in a direction, which may also mean cutting things and people off, good or bad, that are hindering Him doing what He has purposed to do in, by, through and for you. It means acknowledging that God is the One that gives life and meaning to everything. It means recognizing that time is too precious to waste on things that have no eternal significance. Know that in God alone will you find true and everlasting satisfaction because He created you; He is the only one that can lead you and make you into all you were destined to become. It’s easy to be busy, but the goal is to make it count, and without Christ, that is impossible to do.

Be you for a purpose, not living or being otiose.

Psalm 127: 1-2

Debt

14_debt-paidDebt. At some point we have all had it, a little or enough to look at the number and cry, whether a credit card, mortgage, phone bill, student loan, cable, etc. Debt is a major part of the society we live in, just considering the massive debt the US is in, but that is neither here nor though. The question of the hour, so what?? Whenever a person faces debt, the relief of being able to pay it off or work it off brings a sense of happiness, comfort, satisfaction, gratitude, completion, and self-worth. So obviously, the greater or more substantial it is, the more it means when a debt is satisfied or forgiven, and the more grateful and sometimes humble a person tends to be.

There is the story of a woman who was being herself for a purpose; she was honest about her situation and about the debt that she owed. When she realized she had the opportunity to pay it off, she did so in a manner of extreme thankfulness. So much in so that she was judged, slandered, and criticized right in her face, but because she knew who she was and didn’t deny it, she pressed on still because she desired her relief. Her name is unknown.

When you understand how much of a wretch you are, how dark your heart really is, and how unholy you truly are in comparison to a perfect and holy God, you realize you owe a debt that is far greater than anything you could ever pay, literally or figuratively. Being you for a purpose means acknowledging the dire need for a Savior and how completely lost and blind you are. Considering the last blog, “Murder,” no matter how good you think you are, trust me you are far worse, and I am learningpaid in full that and how immensely far from perfect I really am continually. Thus, I am more and more grateful for the cross and for the blood of Jesus. It was his, and only his, sacrifice that saved me and paid my terribly deadly debt in full.

Like Mary, we have to be honest about how messed up we truly are and that we are in need of someone to wipe out or forgive all that we owe. Again, I heard it put this way, “we will never know how unholy we truly are until we realize how holy God is.” When we are true to who we are with who created us, we can no longer hide behind our insecurities or failures, or use the mask of our accomplishments and achievement, because He sees us; He knows us; He created us. When we come before Him and take off the make-up, the cover-ups, and the veils of pride, arrogance, ignorance, perfection. deceit, denial, egoism, self-righteousness, judgement, and self-pity, He is then able to break away the pieces that shouldn’t be there and mold us, like a potter (Jeremiah 18), into the person He designed us to be. It is then His grace and mercy can begin to calculate how much is owed, and his blood takes the information and uses just enough drops to pay the bill. The beautiful part is that whenever we need more, it is there for us whenever we need it.

Just for me, the more I understand how wicked my heart really is and how much He loves me in spite of me, thus, the more I want to love and serve Him. Being me for a purpose, the good, the bad, and the ugly, I realized how high the price he paid for me on Calvary, and though I can never pay Him back, I plan to spend my life trying as if I could.

I love the story of the woman and her alabaster box, because she was a woman at the crossroads, no longer afraid or worried about what people would say; she didn’t care, for in that moment she knew she had nothing else to lose; it was now or never, all or nothing. She gave all of herself, and put it all on Jesus’ feet. She recognized there was only one person that could make her whole and that would afford her any type of compensation for her debt, and give her life meaning, restore her value, significance, and worth, and instill a purpose for her life. She did what she had to do, and Jesus paid it all.

Be you for a purpose and take off the mask. Remove the blinders. Open yourself up fully to the only one that can pay the debt for your soul.

Murder

Whatever you say or do, do it on purpose.

murder

That line is the first part of the Be You for a Purpose motto and it’s interesting because I haven’t really written specifically on that portion, so it is about time I did. Now I am sure you are asking, what in the world does that have to do with murder? So let me explain.

A lot of times when we try to determine how good of a person we are, we tend to refer back to the Ten Commandments, which is an awesome point of reference. But right around the last five, we tend to get a sense of relief and say, “see I’m not so bad, I haven’t murdered and I will never commit adultery.” If this applies to you, you are an awesome person. #thumbsup

However, if you read continue to read Scripture you will find that the vast majority has failed to uphold every single one of the those commandments, in one way or another, even those dreaded two. Shocking I know, but stick with me. For the sake of adultery, Jesus himself said that if you just look at another person in a lustful manner, if your heart is in the wrong spot, you have already committed adultery (Matthew 5:28). And I will be honest, that lust thing is so easy to get caught up in, because these men be fine, and I love my superheroes…but I digress. Of course, it doesn’t help with the overly sexual society we live in, not to even mention pornography or what is presented on television and movies with no second thought or consideration. Lust…adultery…check.

Nonetheless, I want to focus on murder. The word does sound so haunting when you hear it, and for good reason. Proverbs tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue, therefore, words alone have the power to kill, and to be honest again, I have been on both sides of the spectrum, giving and receiving. So like me, I am sure that the vast majority of us have spoken words that have ended relationships, have cut a person deep, or have slandered a person’s name (whether we knew them or not) in a way that destroyed who they were.

Furthermore, we tend to speak the most deadly when we are angry or don’t care too much for someone. Right before speaking on adultery, Jesus spoke on murder and how a person commits murder when they speak to or about someone in contempt. Additionally, James calls the tongue evil, and even equates it to fire, and says it’s full of deadly poison. Need I say more. Our words have the power to destroy and kill, like poison.

Another side note: Out of the heart, the mouth speaks, so many times our words reveal what we truly feel, and those unpleasant dispositions we have toward others at any given time, and how we love is displayed in how we speak to each other. If our words are hateful, or anything of the sort, that hate or resent for another person, for one reason or another, makes you a murderer, well at least, that’s what John says.

When you are being you for a purpose, part of that, as the motto explains, is being intentional of the words you speak. Your words can bring life or death. Which do you choose to bring? If you ask me, there is already enough people committing murder, I would rather not add to the body count. At the same time, it just reaffirms our need for Jesus, because he is the answer to our evil nature, and it’s his blood covers all of our sins, murder and adultery included; he desires to transform us into the best, His best, that we can be, speaking, thinking, and doing as to fulfill His purpose in our lives. Consequently, whatever you say and do, do it on purpose. Whoever you are, be on purpose.